The Nation (Nairobi)

14 July 2008

Kenya: Hundreds Mark Imamat Fete

Nairobi — Hundreds of Ismaili Muslims celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the Imamat Day at the Mombasa Jubilee Hall Sunday.

The celebrations started with a procession along Moi Avenue before the faithful converged at Jubilee Hall.

The honorary secretary of the Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Mombasa, Mr Zaher Bhanji, said that Imamat Day is a worldwide celebration to mark the ascendancy of the Aga Khan as the Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.

This year's celebrations were special because they marked 50 years since the Aga Khan became Imam.

Ms Narmin Samji, the president of the Aga Khan Council of Mombasa, said it had been an honour for Kenya to host the golden jubilee games.

The games, which were organised in Nairobi from June 23 to 29, brought together Ismaili athletes from different parts of the world.

Mr Bhanji said he was optimistic that the games would be repeated during future celebrations.

A faithful who did not wish to be named said that Imamat Day was a time to rejoice and celebrate.

"It a great feeling to celebrate the ascendancy of the Aga Khan to Imamat," he said.

The Aga Khan is the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. He took over the position on July 11, 1957. He has been particularly interested in eliminating global poverty, the advancement of the status of women and rural development.

He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the largest private development networks in the world. The organisation works towards social, economic, and cultural development in Asia and Africa. It also offers health and education services.

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